Thankful Thursday

There’s much to be thankful about in downtown El Dorado, and downtown merchants as well as out of district pop up businesses want everyone to know about it.

Artist Vicki Cooper with her pop-up shop in Great Beginnings.

Therefore, on the first Thursday of each month through October, the downtown district is decorated with large sandwich boards and balloons announcing “Thankful Thursday.”

Sandwich boards and balloons decorated the downtown district.

With extended hours, special discounts and exclusive offers, there’s something for everyone to be thankful for.

Coach Al and a friend playing Cornhole in front of Kelly’s ETC.

This month the beautiful, sunny weather provided a perfect backdrop for shoppers as they strolled through downtown.

Shoppers were treated to walking tacos, provided by Trunk2Treasure.

Shoppers were treated to walking tacos, provided by Trunk2Treasure and vendors like Christina Starr Kreations held a drawing for a free candy bouquet.

TCG Services Chaplin Wade Graber shared information about the Kindness Matters campaign.

Wade Graber and Mike Ward with TCG Services greeted people with the “Kindness Matters” campaign. In a partnership with USD490, they want to encourage citizens to take the kindness pledge and help create a summer of kindness.

The next Thankful Thursday will be July 1st.

BCC ACBSP Business Student Leader Award

Butler DECA President, Mara Stewart, receives annual leadership award

EL DORADO, Kan. – This year’s Butler Community College ACBSP Business Student Leader Award recipient is Mara Stewart of El Dorado. Stewart was nominated by Marketing Department Chair Jared McGinley. 

Butler Community College Marketing student, Mara Stewart was recognized for the Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Business Student Leader Award.

The Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) developed the Business Student Leadership Award to recognize excellence in business student leadership. Butler business faculty nominate students they feel exemplify business leadership. Faculty then review applications and select the recipient. Recipients are presented a plaque as well as have their name placed on a perpetual plaque on Butler’s campus.  

Stewart, a May 2021 associate degree graduate, was very involved at Butler. She entered Butler on a scholarship for singing and dancing with the Butler Headliners, worked as an intern for Butler’s College Relations & Marketing Department, was an Order of the Gold recipient achieving a 4.0 GPA, and served as President of Collegiate DECA, a professional business fraternity. 

Her involvement in school activities led her to attend numerous conferences and seminars to improve business and leadership skills, tour various businesses, and compete in business case competitions. Over the past two years at the Kansas Collegiate DECA State Conference, she placed first in Event Planning with partner Beth Walker, first in Business Ethics with partner Sophia Dawson, and individually placed third in Travel and Tourism.  

As President of Collegiate DECA, Stewart was active in fundraising, as well as organizing and leading weekly meetings. Stewart also organized and led a Leadership Development Conference for all the Kansas DECA college chapters in the state, and helped plan, organize, and lead a trip to Kansas City where the chapter met with the marketing team of Sporting Kansas City.  

In addition to her studies and involvement on the Butler campus, Stewart has worked at two additional jobs, and regularly volunteered at her church. Stewart plans to continue her studies to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Marketing at Oklahoma Christian University.  

COVID-19 Vaccine in Limited Supply

Virginia Ball and her son Randy Ball learned that Kansas entered the second of the COVID-19 Vaccinations Phases. Phase 2 in Kansas includes persons aged 65+; congregate settings such as assisted living facilities and nursing homes; high contact crical workers; all unvaccinated persons prioritized in previous phases.

The Butler County COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee has determined the first three priority groups for Phase 2 will be First Responders, K-12 Staff and individuals 65 years and older.

Virginia is 95 and Randy is 71, which qualifies them to receive the vaccination under these guidelines. Butler County receives the Moderna vaccine and the vaccine sign-up for Butler County residents, as well as those who work in Butler County, must be completed online at the Butler County website:

When Ball logged on to the Butler County Health Department’s website to schedule their appointments, she discovered there are no upcoming appointments available. Not next week, or the week after that, not even within the next couple of months.

“If all goes as planned, said Jaime Downs, Director of the Butler County Health Department, “we should get 600 vaccines a week. That’s based on supplies. Each week KDHE centrally decides the allocation of each incoming shipment to each enrolled provider.”

“Limited vaccines mean limited supply,” said Downs. “We are tasked with exhausting the full weekly allotment that we get so we are in the process of doing that.”

“Currently, the hospital receives an allotment to administer to their staff and long term care facilities receive an allotment for their residents,” said Downs.

The Health Department is the only provider able to administer the vaccine to all the other populations in Butler County.

“We have 10 pharmacies and 2 clinics requested to be a provider but we don’t know when they will come on board. We’re hoping very soon,” said Downs.

In a statement, the Butler County Health Department said, “We have only so much vaccine. If the appointment slots are filled keep checking back to see if more have been added. The following week’s appointment slots will open as we are notified of vaccine shipments. We will get everyone vaccinated that wants it but it will take time. We request your patience as we move through this process.”

Virginia Ball is a “Rosie the Riveter” who is committed to helping fight the pandemic. “Together we can do it,” she said.

Ball and her son intend to keep checking back each week until they are able to get vaccinated. Both have recently recovered from having COVID-19 and want to be vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent a possible reinfection.

“This is a horrible disease,” said Ball.

Community Aid Network (CAN)

Funds Available, Volunteers Needed

What comes to mind when you hear the word C.A.N.? 

The Community Aid Network (C.A.N.) is a ministry to provide financial assistance to residents living in El Dorado, and is supported by the churches in the El Dorado area. 

Community Aid Network (C.A.N.)

“You never know the situation a person is in,” said Barbara Day, volunteer with C.A.N. “God has provided this to give people a hand up so they can get back on their feet.  There’s no judgement. We just want to represent God through this ministry.”

In 2020, C.A.N. helped over 200 families get some kind of help,” said Joy Cushman, another C.A.N. volunteer. 

C.A.N. is located in the First Baptist Church at 315 W. Central, El Dorado, Kansas. The main entrance is through the church office doors on Washington Street. Visitors need to wear a mask but one will be provided, if needed. The hours are from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 

The C.A.N is a network of churches who give funds into a central account that can be distributed to those in need. 

“The Ministerial Alliance is the supervising organization,” said Day. 

There are a few guidelines established by the Ministerial Alliance. An individual can only receive assistance once, within a six month period. This guideline is in place to allow C.A.N. to help as many people as possible. 

“The funds are not meant to be utilized on a monthly basis but to help people out when they need it,” said Cushman. 

“Funds can be provided for utilities, rent and prescription medications,” said Dorothy Beer, C.A.N. volunteer. 

The C.A.N. does not give money out to individuals but instead, sends the funds directly to the creditor.  Those seeking assistance are asked to bring a copy of the bill they are requesting help with, along with a driver’s license or state ID. 

Volunteers are needed and those interested in volunteering should contact El Dorado First Baptist Church at 316-321-3266. 

“Let the office staff know that you are interested in being a volunteer,” said Day, “And one of us will call you back.”

Miss El Dorado Ambassadors

The Miss El Dorado Ambassador program held their virtual pageant on Sunday, September 27, 2020 and Bailey Smith, of El Dorado, was named Miss El Dorado 2020.

Miss El Dorado 2020 Bailey Smith

Katie Brooks, of Arkansas City, was named Miss Golden Road 2020.

Miss Golden Road 2020 Katie Brooks

Niomi Ndirangu, of El Dorado, was named Miss Teen El Dorado.

Miss Teen El Dorado 2020 Niomi Ndirangu

Smith and Brooks were each awarded a $250 scholarship and Ndirangu was awarded a $100 scholarship.

Other awards presented were for On Stage Question, Talent and Photogenic Award.

Faith Grove won the award for On Stage Question and received a $25 award for her answer to the question, “What does community service mean to you?”

Faith Grove

Annabelle Todd received a $25 award for her dance routine set to the song “Ghostbusters.”

Annabelle Todd

Janessa Knapp won $25 for Miss Photogenic.

Janessa Knapp

Hunter Dawson was named Mr. El Dorado Ambassador

Mr. El Dorado 2020 Hunter Dawson

Also crowned as Ambassadors were Kallie Rutliff, Kennedy Bables, Madelyn Olson, Kaydence Dawson and Paisley Dawson.

The Miss El Dorado Ambassadors will help El Dorado celebrate it’s historic 150th birthday throughout the coming year.